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#1
Posted June 2nd 2008, 8:28pm
So I screwed up bigtime and didn't foresee the onslaught of the billions of cottonwood seeds that have descended upon my backyard and garden. I should have put some netting over my boxes for a few weeks but now I've got little sprouts popping up all over them and as of now, the back looks like its been snowng. I've never seen it so bad in the 12 years I've lived here.

I scooped out a bunch of them along w/ a thin layer of soil but is there a way to defeat them more easily ? As they seem to sprout with nearly no dirt covering them, can I put an inch or so of compost or mulch on top to smother them ? Or do I have to keep skimming them off all summer ??

HELP !!
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#2
Posted June 3rd 2008, 8:25am
The season is short. They will stop soon.
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Steve Z.

"Why should I eat a carrot when I can eat pizza?" - Dan Janssen
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#3
Posted June 3rd 2008, 9:15am
yes ... I know ... but unless I do something w/ the existing seeds, they are going to overrun my garden. Just looking for other possibilities to suppress what's already there besides the constant weeding that will otherwise be required.
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#4
Posted June 3rd 2008, 9:30am
How about a shop-vac heald not too close to the soil?
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Steve Z.

"Why should I eat a carrot when I can eat pizza?" - Dan Janssen
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#5
Posted June 3rd 2008, 10:48am
Mulch is your friend. Again, I use newspaper with a top layer of cypress mulch for weight and esthetics - there's a cottonwood right next to my plot, I feel your pain.
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#6
Posted June 3rd 2008, 12:16pm
Hi,

In my other life, cottonwood trees were planted all over Moscow. Some arborist was under pressure by the Kremlin (I kid you not) to get Moscow more trees. He opted for fast growing cottonwoods, which later were cursed by the populace. Every spring the trees would erupt with their seed pods leaving a mess all over the city. Bored shop girls on their cigarette breaks would drop their lit matches into the white clouds lining the curb. There would be a fast little fire that extinguished itself as quickly as the cottonwood seeds had burned out.

In the damned if you do and damned if you don't, I knew one person who felt this arborist should be jailed due to this annual mess. The poor guy was under threat no matter what he did.

Regards,
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#7
Posted June 4th 2008, 8:46pm
Your anecdote is much more evocative; my friends and I used to do much the same thing...

light the drifts of cottonwood seeds cluttering the gutters of my campus's greens for the flash: fire! fire!
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"Johnny thought when all purpose had been forgotten the world would end this way, with a dance. He slumped back in a corner, drew his knees up to his chin, and watched."-Derek Jarman
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#8
Posted June 5th 2008, 5:56am
I would light them on fire as a kid, as well. They burn quickly enough that it probably wouldn't do any damage to the rest of your garden. (though I'd keep a hose handy, just in case)
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#9
Posted June 5th 2008, 12:28pm
I threw down a layer of mulch the other day. I'll still have to pull some sprouts out from in between my carrot spouts as I didn't want to risk smothering them w/ the mulch as well but I think it will work.

thanks for the advice.
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